August 14, 2012 in Sports

Locker to start

Titans tab former UW star for second preseason game
Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Titans quarterback Jake Locker will start and see increased action Friday against Tampa Bay.
(Full-size photo)

Jake Locker will get his first start of the preseason on Friday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Nashville, Tenn.

Coach Mike Munchak made the announcement after Monday’s practice that the 2011 first-round pick would start after Matt Hasselbeck started Saturday night’s 27-17 loss in Seattle.

“We’ll start Jake on Friday. It gives him an opportunity to start the game from the beginning. Then, Matt will come in and we’ll go from there,” Munchak said.

The plan calls for both quarterbacks to play longer than they did in the opener, with Locker going about 20 to 25 plays with the offense.

“You want to give them enough to where you can get some drives going. You hope you’re out there longer. You want to get them in the 20s as far as plays,” Munchak said. “It’s a position he hasn’t been in yet. Obviously we started Matt last week and we’ll do the opposite this weekend.”

Locker played only one series off the bench with the first team against the Seahawks.

“We kind of want to see him with some of the other players for a longer period of time,” Munchak said.

Starting wide receiver Nate Washington said the players have gotten used to both quarterbacks in camp, so the switch to Locker won’t be a big deal.

“It won’t be much of a change for us. We’ve been getting so much work with both of the guys,” Washington said.

Rams opt out of games

The St. Louis Rams are dropping plans to play home games in London in 2013 and 2014, citing a need to focus on negotiations on their lease and ease fan discontent.

The Rams said that they will play the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium on Oct. 28 while withdrawing their commitment for home games in London the following two seasons.

“We want to grow globally, but we need to make sure we’re on solid footing first here in St. Louis,” said Kevin Demoff, chief operating officer, at a news conference.

Packers sign Benson

The Green Bay Packers signed free-agent running back Cedric Benson, hoping to add depth and productivity at a position that is being stretched thin by injuries just a few weeks into training camp.

Benson, the No. 4 overall pick by the Chicago Bears in the 2005 draft, struggled with injuries, inconsistency and off-the-field trouble with the Bears. But he revived his career over four seasons in Cincinnati, including three straight years over the 1,000-yard rushing mark.

Around the league

Louisiana State Police investigators have found no evidence that the Saints or general manager Mickey Loomis rigged Superdome wiring so opposing coaches’ radio communications could be intercepted. State police investigators have been working in conjunction with the FBI since the eavesdropping allegations surfaced in news reports in April. … Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks has been taken off the physically unable to perform list by the New York Giants and can start practicing with the team. … Indianapolis Colts starting inside linebacker Pat Angerer, last year’s leading tackler, could miss at least six weeks because of a broken foot. … Longtime offensive tackle Tra Thomas will officially retire from the NFL as a member of the Eagles. Thomas, who spent 11 of his 12 NFL seasons with Philadelphia, last played in 2009, with Jacksonville.

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